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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Classroom Summary for October 7 - October 11

Here's what we did this week....

In Miss Varrell's Fundations group we completed our second unit which focused on glued sounds, bonus letters and reviewing some of the more common vowel pairs seen in words: /ai/, /ay/, /ea/, /ee/, /ey/. We have learned that closed syllables are syllables that are 'closed in' by a consonant AND have a short vowel sound. Closed syllables don't always have a consonant at the beginning and they can also be combined with other types of syllables in multisyllabic words.

In Miss Varrell's reading group we began our first unit in the Making Meaning comprehension program. We read McDuff Moves In by Rosemary Wells and the chapter 'The Library' from Poppleton by Cynthia Rylant. In both readings we used a learning technique called Turn To Your Partner to discuss what we were thinking as we listened to each story. Stopping at various points in your reading to talk about what you have learned from the story helps you to make sense of what you read as you read it. It is a very important skill to have and as we  read throughout the year, we will use this strategy to help us with our comprehension.

In Writing Workshop we continued our work with how to gather ideas for writing by listening to Shortcut by Donald Crews. Mr. Crews' story was based on a real event that happened to him when he was a boy. We used his writing strategy -- thinking about something that happened to us -- to
give us an idea for a story. Sometimes things that happen to us are scary, exciting, sad or happy. We can use those ideas to help us write a fiction or nonfiction story!

In Math we began Topic three in our enVision program. The focus of instruction this week was developing different subtraction strategies. Using what we learned about the relationship between addition and subtraction, we tried similar strategies to solve subtraction problems that we had used to solve addition problems. We reviewed subtracting 0, 1 and 2 from a number and subtracting doubles, facts of ten and facts from 18.

In science we reviewed how to use the Explain Everything app on the iPads. We used the iPads and the app to create a short slide show explaining the characteristics of the two major types of trees: deciduous and coniferous. We went for a short fact-finding mission outside and took photographs with the iPads to collect our evidence. When that was completed we began inserting the pictures into the Explain Everything app to begin our project. Next week we will complete our slide shows and review our understanding of trees.


  • Our field trip to the Discovery Museum in Acton is next Friday, October 18. Randomly chosen chaperones have been notified by email. If you were not notified, please know that we have two more field trips that we will need volunteers for. Thank you to all who volunteered for this first trip! A reminder notice about the field trip will be coming home with the children later in the week.
  • Thank you again to all our generous families who have sent in donations of wipes and tissues. We are very grateful for your kindness and generosity. :)

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